Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Deus enim firmavit

Palestrina published the Offertoria totius anni secundum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae consuetudinem in 1593. It’s one of the last of his publications and also one of the most important. It contains sixty-eight motets to be sung at the Offertory of the Mass. (The offertory is the part of the Mass when the bread and wine are placed on the altar). In Rome during Palestrina’s time the Offertory as one of the most important points in the Mass was accompanied by a motet. Which is why Palestrina composed and published Offertory motets for the entire liturgical year. They’re very beautiful and are ‘pure Palestrina’ because when he was writing these Offertoria Palestrina decided to compose original melodies for them rather than taking the chant as cantus firmus. This was very daring and created quite a stir. They’re very restrained and balanced with a sense of poise and quiet joy that grows upon you the more you hear them. I’ll be posting more of them from time to time. Enjoy :-).


4 thoughts on “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Deus enim firmavit

  1. Do you know if the SATB scores of these motets are available? It would be nice to use them for their original purpose.
    Cheers, RP

  2. Thankyou, Mark, for the link, and for the very knowledge that this music was written. Without your wisdom, who would have known?

    • YOu’re welcome Richard – incidentally a handy and very quick search to find scores on CPDL is to type something like this into google

      Surname of composer – name of piece – cpdl


      Palestrina deus enim cpdl

      will immediately pull up the link to the score for this piece.

      A “fuzzier” search such as

      byrd deus cpdl

      Pulls up lots of results with the most likely candidates at the top of the list:

      Miserere mei, Deus (William Byrd ) – ChoralWiki
      Alleluia – Ascendit Deus (William Byrd ) – ChoralWiki
      Ascendit Deus in jubilatione (William Byrd ) – ChoralWiki

      and so on. Very handy and has saved me from endless clicking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *